Tuesday, March 27, 2007

NCAA Gets Tough on Combines

The NCAA crackdown on scouting combines has started. No longer will Division I coaches be allowed to attend combines, which have become increasingly popular and serve as a means for players to showcase their skills to coaches in an attempt to land a scholarship.

The governing body added bylaw to the Division I manual, and it prohibits college coaches from attending any activity devoted to "agility, flexibility, speed or strength test for prospective student athletes."

In a strange twist to the rule, coaches from Division II and Division III teams will be allowed to attend combines. Their banned Division I counterparts will be given a handout of combine results.

Combines have come under fire because they often charge players a fee to participate despite the fact many of the combines are sponsored by major shoe companies. There has been speculation the NCAA wanted to limit the profits of Internet recruiting services, but Hampton University coach Joe Taylor, a member of the Football Issues Committee, told Jami Frankenberry of the Virginian-Pilot that simply was not the case.

"This was a way to take the pressure off of forcing coaches to go" to combines, Taylor said. "If you were asked to work the combine, and this is your vacation time, you felt compelled to do so because you didn't want your competition to get the upper hand."

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